As we lay on the carpeted floor of my mom’s office, I knew I was preparing to run.
Things had suddenly gone bad. The story starts with my father, Peter Kupeh. He loves his job at Knox, Inc, a metal company. He is a math guy responsible for producing the metals and keeping the inventory flowing. My mom, Zalia Kupeh, who is at the moment five months pregnant, is a publicist the company hires once in a while.
Something went wrong and they decided to destroy the production plans of a new metal product. They had my 7 year old brother, Yatii, take a look at it and changed up the numbers in the production system. Yatii has photographic memory. This happened last night and there was a huge fire at the factory. Both of us have been on my mom’s office floor since then. Security has been too vigilant to leave without causing suspicion.
It is my job to keep Yatii safe. The company doesn’t suspect my parents yet, but they need us out of the building. As we lie of the floor of my mother’s office while she pretends to make some calls. My dad comes in, lies down with us and talks to us.
“Marzia, take Yatii to your uncle’s house. He will keep you safe. Wait there till tomorrow and head out to camp. I will find you there. Here is some money. Do not use your cards. Fish in the lake and use the garden for food. Leave a note for me in our secret place and we will find you. I need to stay with your mom for now. Okay?
“Uncle. Camp. Keep it cheap. Got it.”
“Out. Now. Walk casually so no one notices. If someone follows you, run. We love you.”
I smiled at Yatii and reached out for his hand. I pulled him up and winked at mom, who mouthed “I love you.” at us. We walked out of the room.
Yatii whispered, “I’m scared.”
“Have I ever told you about the Grimlins?” He knows I make stuff up for him all the time.
“If you pretend you can’t see them, they can’t see you.”
“Yup. Bravery keeps you safe.”
“Can we pretend there are Grimlins here right now?”
“On the count of 3. 1… 2… 3.”
His tiny figure started to look relaxed and he had a tiny smile on his face. We talked of school and things as we walked out of the building. I have to admit my heart was pounding and my eyes darted around looking for people following us. But Yatti sold it. He is a super hero.